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Anthony Weiner: Yea, There Are Probably More Pictures Out There

110079-anthony-weiner

Just a day after opening his seemingly quixotic campaign for Mayor of New York City, former Congressman Anthony Weiner admitted that there are likely other women out there with compromising photos and emails that he sent:

Former congressman and newly announced New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner (D) said in an interview Thursday morning with WNYC-FM that there could be women coming forward with more e-mails or photos from the inappropriate digital conversations that led to his resignation in 2011.

“It is what it is,” Weiner said. “People may decide they want to come forward and say, here’s another email that I got or another photo. I’m certainly not going to do that. So people may hear things that are true, they may hear things that are not true, but I’m going to try to keep being focused on issues that are important to New York City.

Weiner acknowledged that his campaign will include “a lot of apologizing,” but says he hopes people will first give him a chance to make his case and then think about voting for him.

“I’m not asking people to say just forget it and pretend it never happened,” he said. “I’m maybe not asking for a second chance, giving me a vote, but for now giving me a second chance to hear what I have to say.”

Interestingly, Weiner also suggested that a New York Time Magazine interview he granted last month may not have done him any good.

This suggests to me that there indeed are other pictures out there that didn’t become public two years ago, and which may do so now that he’s back in the public eye. This comes on the same day that New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo said that if Weiner somehow manages to win the election, New Yorkers should be ashamed of themselves, a comment which suggests quite strongly that New York’s political elite are going to be united in opposition to Weiner and, most likely, behind current frontrunner Christine Quinn.

Given his history and the political odds against him, it’s hard to see how Weiner could actually pull off a win here. Some commenters have tried to compare Weiner to Mark Sanford, who recently won election to Congress notwithstanding a personal scandal that ended his marriage and, it seemed, his political career. However, as Linda Feldmann at The Christian Science Monitor notes, there are significant differences between Weiner and Sanford:

• Weiner is trying to come back much sooner than Sanford did, two years versus four years.

• Weiner is aiming for a more prestigious job – mayor of the biggest city in the United States, currently held by Michael Bloomberg. Sanford had the good fortune of seeing his old congressional seat open up, allowing him to show a little humility as he ran for a job less prestigious than the governorship.

• Sanford had less difficult competition than Weiner does – not that Sanford’s political resurrection was a sure thing. Plenty of voters in South Carolina’s First Congressional District weren’t ready to forgive and forget. He had to compete in a runoff for the Republican nomination. Then in the general, he faced a well-funded Elizabeth Colbert Busch, sister of satirist Stephen Colbert. Toward the end of the campaign, Sanford’s ex-wife accused him of trespassing on her property, and the National Republican Congressional Committee stopped investing in the race. But the district was heavily Republican, and Ms. Colbert Busch was a political novice. Sanford won by nine percentage points.

• Perhaps the biggest issue weighing against Weiner is the “ick” factor. The “weiner” jokes are back, as voters are treated to rehashes of Weiner’s lewd texts and tweets sent to women he had met online. Back in 2011, when confronted, Weiner lied about his actions before admitting to them.

To this, I’d add two other points. Unlike Weiner, Sanford was competing in a Special Election for a Congressional District, not a Democratic Primary in the largest city in the United States. Winning a Special Election in a district you’d represented before, as Sanford had, is far easier than winning a Democratic Primary for Mayor of New York just two years after having been forced to resign from Congress as a result of a bizarre sex scandal that occurred while your wife was pregnant with your son. Additionally, despite his personal problems it was clear from the start of his race that Sanford had retained significant goodwill in his old District, something that helped him significantly in winning both the Primary and the General Election. One gets the impression that there isn’t the same reservoir of goodwill for Weiner, especially among Democratic activists. It’s hard to see how he overcomes all of that, especially given that all of the big money is going to be behind Christine Quinn.

Update: Weiner’s day gets worse. It turns out the background graphic on his campaign website is of the City of Pittsburgh, not New York.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Gromitt Gunn says:

    I think something also in Sanford’s favor is that the known evidence points to him realizing later in life that he had fallen in love with someone else, a woman that he is still with. That may not be kosher, but it at least falls well within the modern Evangelical model of second marriages, repentance, atonement, etc. Weiner, on the other hand, was tweeting his junk far and wide.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  2. Surreal American says:

    So if Anthony Weiner loses his bid to become mayor, does that mean NYC is more moral than Mark Sanford’s congressional district in South Carolina?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  3. stonetools says:

    I agree in part here and disagree in part.
    As to the ick factor, I just thought don’t think that Wiener’s sins rate that high on the list of politicians behaving badly with women.
    Let’s compare him with:

    Dave Vitter cavorting in diapers with prostitutes
    JFK shtupping Marilyn Munroe in the White House
    Monica Lewinsky blowing Clinton in the Oval Office
    Sanford leaving his job and wife to fly off to Argentina to be with his mistress

    In terms of sex scandal, you have to say that on a scale of 10, Wiener rates about a 2.5 .

    Where I agree with you is that he probably loses this race. So why is he running?
    I think this campaign is just an exploratory probe by Wiener. He doesn’t expect to win (though he would like to, of course). He just wants to gauge whether the public is amenable to him running for office again. If he loses overwhelmingly, then it’s the end for him politically. If he is at all competitive, then he can think of coming back to run for his old seat in 2014.
    If you actually want to hear from the horse’s mouth, here’s a Wiener interview on the Brian Lehrer Show.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  4. wr says:

    I’d say the opposition of the New York Democratic establishment is one big mark in Weiner’s favor, since that establishment is mostly dedicated to the servicing of the big banks and the people who make millions from them. It’s pretty clear that the Times has a big thumb on the scale for Christine Quinn — as they did for Bloomberg’s third term — and at the very least I’d like to see Weiner be strong enough to challenge her to actually step up and articulate her agenda instead of coasting on inevitability.

    I don’t know much about Quinn, but it doesn’t speak well for her that she spent years fighting the new law to grant employees in the city sick leave, and only changed her mind when it was clear that position would hurt her electoral position.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  5. michael reynolds says:

    I think he should run on the “Nothing to hide!” slogan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  6. michael reynolds says:

    @stonetools:

    an exploratory probe by Wiener.

    See, that’s why he can’t run.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  7. Septimius says:

    If he loses the primary can the New York Post headline be: “Christine Quinn Licks Weiner”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  8. Tyrell says:

    Weiner could pull in a lot of votes if he has a plan to do away with a lot of Bloomberg’s ridiculous actions, such as the intrusive ban on large soft drinks and a promise to allow more hot dog street vendors.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. stonetools says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Yeah, the New York Post in particular is looking forward to his campaign.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  10. Moosebreath says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Yes, that will prick his exploratory balloon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  11. Caj says:

    The pictures were stupid and he was insane to do it but put him alongside a cheating, lying scumbag who cheated on his whole family like Mark Sandford, I say go for it Mr Weiner. Pictures are one thing, taking off on a trail of the lonesome pine to meet a mistress is entirely another! Yet the holier than thou cretins in South Carolina saw nothing wrong with that at all. Forgiveness isn’t just allowed for those on the right! Or is it?????

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  12. stonetools says:

    If you click on the WNCY link, you get a snapshot of some of his positions. I like that he wants to rein in “stop and frisk.” I’d like for him to do away with it entirely, but that’s probably impossible politically in NYC now.
    If you look at the comment string, most people seem to be looking beyond the middle school jokes to actually engage the issues.Lots still attack his conduct, though, and think it shows a character flaw

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  13. michael reynolds says:

    If we’re going to start eliminating politicians with character flaws we’re going to save a lot of money on salaries.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  14. Andre Kenji says:

    A mayor that has balls.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. rudderpedals says:

    Better the prick you know than the one you don’t, eh? With humor I think he has a great chance to pull it off. The tabloids are already complaining about waking up in the wet spot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  16. However, as Linda Feldmann at The Christian Science Monitor notes, there are significant differences between Weiner and Sanford:

    Another “significant difference:” Weiner’s marriage survived.

    Another one: The guy who sent dick pics destroyed his political career, while the guy who cheated on his wife and married his mistress got a second chance.

    How bout this? Neither one of them gets a pass.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  17. Andre Kenji says:

    Being better in personal life than Mark Sanford is a horribly low standard.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  18. Lynda says:

    I think it depends on how he err….handles himself.

    If he comes across as genuinely remorseful and self-deprecating about his dumb actions he probably stands a chance as long as his actual policies are attractive to voters.

    Perhaps it is my European upbringing but I whilst I understand the prurient interest in sex scandals they don’t influence my vote much and like Stonetools I don’t even think Weiner rates that high on sex scandals anyway. As I understand it Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin works closely for Hillary Clinton and in comparison to the Big Dog’s behavior Anthony is definitely a dachshund.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  19. rodney dill says:

    I did like the Drudge link, – ‘Shame on us’ if we erect him

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  20. stonetools says:

    AS the Rob Portman case shows, ideology trumps character. A problem for Wiener is that there are no broad ideological differences between Quinn and Wiener-they’re both moderate to liberal New York Democrats . People will be inclined to give it to the cleaner character. If the choice was Wiener and some wingnut, I imagine liberals would hold their nose and choose Wiener.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  21. rodney dill says:

    His political career was dead, now it’s alive.
    ‘Frankenweenie’

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  22. @Septimius:

    Considering that Christine Quinn is a lesbian, I think that headline just won’t work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. Moderate Mom says:

    @Septimius: Or beats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. Moderate Mom says:

    One thing these two seem to have in common is an apparent inability to obtain employment in the private sector. I’m so sick of politicians that think they are entitled to lifetime employment on the taxpayer tit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  25. Dazedandconfused says:

    While thoughts of awesome fail are rolling…..

    http://youtu.be/YFLAfHk41FM

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. Rob in CT says:

    @Moderate Mom:

    Heh, I get to agree with Moderate Mom about something. :)

    I think these types run again because it’s all they can really do with themselves. If they fail, they’ll try for wingnut welfare or the liberal equivalent (IMO, there’s less available of that, but it’s certainly there).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. Andre Kenji says:

    @Rob in CT: I´d rather have them doing that them working on K Street.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. stonetools says:

    Actually, Anthony Weiner is doing better financially as an attorney and lobbyist than he did as a Congressman , by all reports. He now lives in a $3M mansion in Gramercy Park, a tony (heh heh) neighborhood in Manhattan..

    He and his wife, Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton, disclosed last week that they had a combined income of $496,000 in 2012, most of it from Mr. Weiner’s work. The money provided a lifestyle-changing infusion for the couple, who moved from a modest home in Forest Hills, Queens, to a large apartment on Park Avenue South in Manhattan.

    He would be taking a pay cut to be NY mayor. You can say what you like about Mr. Weiner, but you can’t say that he now can’t make money outside of government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  29. LOL says:

    I think he should run on the “Nothing to hide!” slogan.

    lol…

    No, he should run as the Big Gulp candidate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  30. EMRVentures says:

    @Septimius: Unfortunately, a headline with crudity, cruelty and homophobic undertones is already built right in to this race, and someone will use it if it comes to pass — “Quinn Beats Weiner”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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